The Stanford women's basketball team is sitting alone atop the Pac-10 Conference standings this week, due in part to a big week turned in by senior Kayla Pedersen during a sweep of UCLA and USC.
Pedersen was named Pac-10 Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday. She averaged 17.0 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 63.2 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from behind the arc as No. 4 Stanford first handed No. 8 UCLA its first conference loss before routing USC.
The announcement marks the fourth time that Pedersen has earned the conference's weekly honor in her career, and third time this season for the Cardinal, following Jeanette Pohlen (Jan. 3) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Jan. 17).
Pedersen opened the weekend by leading the Cardinal to Thursday's 64-38 victory over UCLA with a double-double of 18 points (on 6-of-9 shooting) and 10 rebounds. Her performance helped Stanford take sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 standings in a battle of top-10 teams.
Two days later, Pedersen was again deadly from the field, going 6-for-10 overall including a 3-for-4 showing from behind the arc that led to 16 points in Stanford's 95-51 rout of USC. Pedersen also grabbed five rebounds and passed out three assists in her vital contribution to the Cardinal winning its 44th straight game against Pac-10 competition and 56th in a row at Maples Pavilion.
Heading into this weekend's road trip to Oregon and Oregon State, Pedersen stands just eight minutes of playing time away from breaking Virginia Sourlis' (1982-86) 25-year old Stanford record of 4,148 minutes played.
Additionally, Pedersen's career rebounding tally of 1,123 through this past weekend leaves her just 141 away from Jayne Appel's all-time benchmark of 1,263.
Stanford freshman driver Kaley Dodson was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
Dodson scored six goals at the Michigan Kickoff over the weekend as top-ranked Stanford went a perfect 4-0 in Ann Arbor. The Cardinal racked up wins over No. 14 Hartwick (14-3), No. 6 Loyola Marymount (14-1), No. 13 Indiana (14-1) and No. 8 Michigan (15-6).
Dodson scored twice in each of the Cardinal's wins over Hartwick, LMU and Indiana. Her six goals on the weekend tied for third-best among Cardinal players.
Stanford returns to action in two weeks, hosting the Stanford Invitational on Feb. 5-6. The Cardinal opens tournament play against Arizona State on on Feb. 5 at 8:30 a.m.